Poems about Betrayal

Sonnet 117 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 117,’ also known as ‘Accuse me thus: that I have scanted all,’ is a poem that delves into the complexities of relationships. The poet’s speaker emphasizes everything he’s done wrong and makes use his beloved understands them all.

Sonnet 128 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 128,’ also known as ‘How oft when thou, my music, music play’st,’ is a sensuous poem. In it, the speaker describes the way his mistress plays the harpsichord and how he longs to touch her.

Sonnet 128 by William Shakespeare visual representation

Farewell, Ungrateful Traitor! by John Dryden

‘Farewell, Ungrateful Traitor!’ by John Dryden swears off men and relationships. The speaker asserts that men are incapable of being truthful or loving as much as women.

Farewell Ungrateful Traitor by John Dryden visual representation

Remember Remember the 5th of November

‘Remember Remember the 5th of November’ is a commemorative poem that celebrates the capture and execution of Guy Fawkes. It is recited on Guy Fawkes day, celebrated on November the 5th.

Sonnet 144 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 144,’ also known as ‘Two loves I have of comfort and despair,’ expresses the speaker’s fears in regard to the Fair Youth’s purity. The poem is concerned with how he may be corrupted by the Dark Lady.

Sonnet 142 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 142,’ also known as ‘Love is my sin, and thy dear virtue hate,’ is one of the sonnets Shakespeare wrote about the Dark Lady. It compares love and sin.

sonnet 142 by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 140 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 140,’ also known as ‘Be wise as thou art cruel; do not press,’ contains the speaker’s threats towards the Dark Lady. He says he will expose her affairs and flirtatious behavior if she doesn’t change her ways.

Sonnet 139 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 139,’ also known as ‘O, call not me to justify the wrong,’ expresses the speaker’s longing that the Dark Lady stop treating him so cruelly. By the end, he gives in and accepts his fate. 

Sonnet 139 by William Shakespeare

Sonnet 138 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 138,’ also known as ‘When my love swears that she is made of truth,’ is a poem about the lies at the heart of a relationship. It depicts the necessity of two lovers misleading one another. 

Delilah by Carol Ann Duffy

‘Delilah’ by Carol Ann Duffy focuses on the story of Delilah. It illuminates her individuality and how she felt about Samson. 

Sonnet 110 by William Shakespeare

‘Sonnet 110,’ also known as ‘Alas, ’tis true I have gone here and there,’ is a poem about infidelity and the speaker’s realization that the Fair Youth is the only one he wants. 

Perfidy by D.H. Lawrence

‘Perfidy’ by D.H. Lawrence describes a speaker’s depression over what he considers a betrayal on the part of the woman he loves. 

A Thousand Martyrs by Aphra Behn

‘A Thousand Martyrs’ by Aphra Behn describes the opulent life of a speaker who consumes everyone and everything around her.

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